I have a confession to make: I absolutely hate password managers. In fact, I despise password managers. Typical password managers, that is. For example, 1Password is a favorite among Mac users. Personally, I would never use it. 1Password offers many features such as filling in web forms, generating strong and unique passwords, it’s pretty versatile, there’s an app for the iPhone/iPod Touch, etc. Granted, 1Password is a beautiful password manager, but again, at heart, it’s just a typical password manager that is entirely proprietary. If your 1Password database or Mac OS X Keychain ever became corrupted, you’d basically be up shit creek without a paddle. You’d know none of your passwords, you’d probably have forgotten which username/e-mail you used for any given site, and did I mention you’d be up shit creek…? That’s why I use SuperGenPass.
Similar to 1Password, SuperGenPass uses a master password. It uses it in a slightly different manner, however. Rather than using it to grant one access to a list of one’s passwords, SuperGenPass uses one’s master password and the domain name of the Web site one is visiting to generate a password based on a one-way hash algorithm. It works like this:
- Visit the site
- Type the master password
- Click the SuperGenPass Bookmark
- The master password is automatically replaced with the password SuperGenPass generated
It’s really that simple, and it works like a charm.
SuperGenPass still places some responsibility on its users to remember the e-mail/username for any given site. I think that is important. Becoming too dependent on any one technology can be disastrous. [See my cloud computing article for examples.] SuperGenPass is also more portable. To use 1Password on an iPod or iPod touch, one has to download 1Password’s proprietary app/browser. Go figure! With SuperGenPass, one just needs to add the bookmark in mobile Safari and that’s it. SuperGenPass also allows one to host a copy of its site on one’s own server, so if one ever needs to re-add the bookmark and SuperGenPass’ site is down, it’s entirely possible to do so. SuperGenPass works with any modern web browser, and unlike 1Password, it’s completely free, so why not use it?